Saturday, October 18, 2014

America's Most Iconic Bridges


I have this love affair with bridges. I always get fascinated with the parallelism between bridges and the purpose of human existence. I'm interested to know how bridges were built and why they were built. Bridges connect places, without them, it would be very hard for people to travel from one place to another unless of course if they own a boat or helicopter ^_^.  And as humans, we can serve as bridges too..of opportunities and relationships of people around us. Isn't that a great and noble thing?

These are some of the most iconic bridges in America that I've had the chance to see and even walk across. 


Manhattan Bridge, New York

The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The main span is 1,470 ft (448 m) long, with the suspension cables being 3,224 ft (983 m) long. The bridge's total length is 6,855 ft (2,089 m). It opened to traffic on December 31, 1909. It was designed by Leon Moisseiff, and is noted for its innovative design. As the first suspension bridge to employ Josef Melan's deflection theory for the stiffening of its deck, it is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges and this design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges built in the first half of the 20th century. 

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York

The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge in the U.S. state of New York that connects the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It spans the Narrows, the reach connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger lower bay. The bridge is named after Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano who, while in the service of Francis I of France, became in 1524 the first European to enter New York Harbor and the Hudson River, and for the body of water it spans: the Narrows. It has a central span of 4,260 feet (1,298 m) and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in 1964, surpassing the Golden Gate Bridge by 60 feet, until it was in turn surpassed by 366 feet by the Humber Bridge in the United Kingdom in 1981. 

The bridge establishes a critical link in the local and regional highway system. It marks the gateway to New York Harbor; all cruise ships and most container ships arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey must pass underneath the bridge and therefore must be built to accommodate the clearance under the bridge. Since 1976, the bridge has been the starting point of the New York City Marathon.


The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Philadelphia, PA

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is known informally as the Ben Franklin Bridge and originally named the Delaware River Bridge, is a suspension bridge across the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey. Owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority, it is one of four primary vehicular bridges between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

George Washington Bridge, New York

The George Washington Bridge – known informally as the GW Bridge – is a double-decked suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey, in the United States. Interstate 95 (I-95) and U.S. Route 1/9 (US 1/9) cross the river via the bridge. The New Jersey Turnpike (part of I-95) and US 46, which lie entirely within New Jersey, end halfway across the bridge at the state border with New York. At its eastern terminus in New York City, the bridge connects with the Trans-Manhattan Expressway.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest bridges of either type in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. It was originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, but it was later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name coming from an earlier January 25, 1867, letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

I wish I could travel more and see other beautiful bridges around the world.